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Strumpet City Paperback – 1 Aug 1978

4.7 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow Books Ltd; New edition edition (Aug. 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099187507
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099187509
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 3.7 x 10.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,348,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'Many studies have been written about the quest for the Great American Novel. Anyone seeking its Irish equivalent need search no further.' --Eileen Battersby, The Irish Times

'If there is one novel that bares the soul of Dublin as much as the life-in-one-day of Ulysses, it is James Plunkett's Strumpet City' --Donal O'Donoghue RTE Guide. 30 March 2013

'Dublin City Libraries has chosen the masterpiece as its One City, One Book for 2013. Epic.' --Joe Duffy The Irish Mail on Sunday 24 March 2013 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

The late James Plunkett drew on his city-centre working-class background, and his commitment to the labour movement, as the background for his fiction. Strumpet City is acknowledged as his masterpiece. His other novels include Farewell Companions and The Circus Animals. He was an accomplished short-story writer and also wrote for radio and theatre. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
A moving tale of the events leading up to, and the aftermath of, the Dublin lockout of 1913. Totally believable in its heart-rending description of the poverty of the Dublin working class contrasted with the comforts of the middle classes.
Plunkett describes without emotion the struggle of a young foundryman to help others, even at the cost to his own young family. He brings alive the great champion of the Irish working class, Big Jim Larkin, founder of the Irish transport union, as well as the unsung heroes who suffered for their cause.
I found myself loathing the cold-hearted Catholic curate who despised the poor people of his parish although he'd elected to work amongst them. Father O Connor was typical of a certain mindset that held the poor responsible for their own miserable condition, telling them their religion was more important than their hunger. He was more comfortable among the well-off of Irish society with their barely concealed contempt for the "lower orders".
"Strumpet City" ranks equal with Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath" as a story of the common humanity and generosity of the poorest of the poor. Surprisingly, the RTE video of the story remains true to the spirit of the novel; it's well worth seeing.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a work of genius. It is compelling and historically accurate with some wonderful characters woven through the tale. Plunkett will not write a beter book and not many will. I read it at least once a year if I can and it is among the best if not the best book I have ever read.
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Format: Paperback
Having first read Strumpet City over 20 years ago, I'm looking forward to reading it again, and glad that it's getting the recognition it deserves, through the One City One Book initiative..

From the opening paragraph, the reader is in the hands of a master storyteller, who knows, and loves, his subject - Dublin - intimately. The years running up to the seminal 1913 Dublin Lock-Out are vividly drawn, and nothing is spared in portraying the polarization that was to emerge between employer and worker.

The characters are all skillfully drawn, with Rashers Tierney one of the best-loved in Irish writing (who suffers a dreadful fate - remember, no harsh reality around the poverty of the time is held back).

But it's not a miserable book - far from it. Read it to get an insight into the start of a troublesome decade, and to lose yourself in the hands of a master storyteller ......

You won't regret it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some say Joyce's "Ulysees" is THE Dublin novel.I beg to differ.
Plunkett's brilliant description of a city torn apart by class,income and poitics is far more arresting than Joyce.Historically accurate descriptions of the poverty and humanity of the Dublin working class during the lock out of 1913 are the back bone of the novel,with it's various great characthers-James Larkin above all,but also Rashers and the Catholic priests who follow the rich rather than Jesus.The description of children going to England to stay with allies of the strikers being forcibly taken away by Catholic fanatics is one of the most powerful I've read in any fiction.
The RTE TV series (available on DVD)is almost as good and is largely faithful to the novel.Both highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I dont often write reviews, mainly because what I might want to say has already been said by many others before me.

However, there are occasions when one just has to say something. This was an amazing book. The characters were so perfectly drawn. I cared about them all and their struggles - even Rasher Tierney's dog!

The deprivation and poverty depicted is heartbreaking and, yes, the book can be depressing at times but then again there are a few laugh-out-loud moments at the dialogue.

I loved it. I am so sorry to have finished it.
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By A Customer on 9 Dec. 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book after seeing the wonderful RTE/Channel 4 serialisation years ago. It is one of those rarities - a book which satisfies as much as the TV version. It is brilliant - Plunkett is the Irish Tolstoy. An epic sweep combined with close attention to detail.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Plunkett's view of Dublin is historically as accurate as one can get and shows the general apathy the rich few had for the many. Have things changed in 100 years. The country of Ireland was just showing signs of peace and tranquility after 30 years of civil unrest when the employers and ruling class decided to impress on the great unwashed that they were still lord and master and thus opening the door to recruitment for the coming but not realised war. The characters are even today so life-like they become alive in the readers mind. The story so powerful, full of pathos, empathy, real love and of course, dismissal. This was Plunkett's finest gift to the world and it will never fade in another 100 years.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am an avid reader of Irish history and I am surprised I have missed this book. The content is great but for me it is just a bit long winded. It does follow the lives of some interesting characters but just re-visits them too many times. It is still a good read and I would recommend buying the book. It could have been condensed though and it would have become more enjoyable for me personally.
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